Eastern Airlines to lodge US$450,000 bond; US officials lobbied heavily for approval – Harmon

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With approval from the Guyana Government, Eastern Airlines will need to lodge bonds totalling US$450,000 with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) before it commences its schedule flights from December 8, 2019.

Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon said a bond in the sum of US$250,000 is required to be lodged with the GCAA while US$200,000 will be lodged with GRA by the U.S based carrier.

Harmon explained that while scheduled carriers were not required to lodge bonds in the past, this is to ensure better protection for the flying public.

Eastern Airlines was re-branded from Dynamic Airways which in 2017 ended its operation in Guyana after declaring bankruptcy.

The Guyana operations were also riddled with complaints of delays and other inefficiencies and passengers were left stranded when the operations folded.

At a post-cabinet media briefing at the Ministry of the Ministry, Harmon acknowledged these past issues but assured that there are better safeguards for the public.

“There was some issue with respect to this particular airline and therefore when the application came, it took some amount of due diligence to come to the point of deciding,” he explained.

Eastern Airlines had applied since December 2018 to operate in Guyana but was denied for a number of reasons.

“We were always concerned about its history and the fact that we do not want to have Guyanese people stranded again… we wanted to ensure that these things are put in place. So, the question of the bond is one sure way of satisfying that requirement that if in fact, that were to happen that we would be in a position to charter an aircraft to get these people to their destination, that’s one of the thinking behind it,” the Director-General said.

He noted there was some amount of lobbying by “official US sources” for Eastern Airline’s approval; he would not name those sources.

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